The Water Diviner

Film, Drama
3 out of 5 stars
The Water Diviner

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Russell Crowe's directorial debut features actors of varying skill and direction of varying style, resulting in a patchwork quilt of a film that provides far too many threads to pull on for complete satisfaction. The star of the tale is Crowe, as Connor, an Australian farmer who at the conclusion of the Great War goes in search of the remains of his three sons who all fell at Gallipoli. His is a tragic, noble tale and Crowe is perfect in the role, bringing out the best in himself: so capable of exuding anguish without melodrama, strength without bravado.

Connor’s mission takes him across Turkey and into the paths of some characters who are fascinating to consider in the centenary years. Yilmaz Erdogan provides an ideal counterpoint to Crowe as Major Hasan, a man searching for dignity for his country in defeat. Russian actress Olga Kurylenko is compelling as a stoic Turkish widow. Unfortunately, other actors struggle. Be it those seemingly out of their depth such as Isabel Lucas – inexplicably cast as a Kurylenko's sister – or those fighting to escape a one-dimensional role, such as Dan Wyllie as a near-pantomime villain British officer. Then there are those such as Megan Gale, given a title credit but reduced to a montage cameo in the editing room. These discrepancies match the up-and-down nature of the film: at times captivating, at others heavy-handed in the use of editing or effects. There is no doubting this is a film of grand ambition, but it is only adequately realised.



Release details

Release date:
Friday December 26 2014
111 mins

Cast and crew

Russell Crowe
Andrew Anastasios, Andrew Knight
Russell Crowe
Jai Courtney
Olga Kurylenko

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